Field Electron Emission from C-based Emitters and Devices

Li Chyong Chen*, Wei Kai Hong, Fu Gow Tarntair, Kuo Ji Chen, Jia Bin Lin, Padmakar D. Kichambare, Huang-Chung Cheng, Kuei Hsien Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present the fabrication, characterization and field emission properties of various C-based emitters and devices, which include (1) the diode-type emitters consisting of arrays of carbon-coated Si microtips and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), (2) CNT triodes, and (3) thin-film-transistor (TFT)-controlled CNT field emission devices (FEDs). All the CNTs were deposited by microwave plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. For the first type, each array contains 50 × 50 emitting cells and each individual cell is 3 microns square. Compared to the Si microtips with bias-assisted carburization or diamond cladding, enhancement in field emission by several orders of magnitude of the CNTs arrays was observed. While the diode-type CNT emitters easily achieve the goal of drawing high electron emission current at low macroscopic field, their long-term stability is not satisfactory for practical applications. For the triode-type CNT-FEDs, vertically aligned CNTs with controlled length were directly grown on the Fe-coated Si substrate pre-patterned by photolithography and etching using oxide as the gate insulator, and the emission current from the CNTs was controlled via the gate voltage. For the TFT-controlled CNT-FEDs, CNTs were selectively grown on the drain region of the TFT and the emission current from the CNTs was controlled via the TFT drain current. It should be mentioned that the fabrication procedures are straightforward and can be integrated with current technologies in the well-established semiconductor industry. Both the triode-type CNTs as well as the TFT-controlled CNT-FEDs have demonstrated improved controllability and stability while maintaining high emission current density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-263
Number of pages15
JournalNew Diamond and Frontier Carbon Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Field electron emission
  • Thin film transistor (TFT)

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